The United States is promising to accept more refugees fleeing from wars in Syria and other areas.
Secretary of State John Kerry met with members of Congress Wednesday. After the meeting, he said, “We are looking hard at the number that we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe.”
Later, Senator John McCain went to the Senate floor to urge stronger leadership from President Barack Obama. He called on Mr. Obama to stop violence in the Middle East and North Africa.
On Tuesday, the president’s spokesman said the administration has been looking at a number of ways to help U.S. allies with the thousands of people arriving from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Al-Qaida-led rebels seize airport from Syrian forces
Islamist rebels have captured a major airbase from Syrian government forces in the country’s northwest. Reports say the rebels expelled all Syrian forces from the Aby Duhur military airport in Idlib province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and allied Islamist groups are now in control of the airport. Syrian state TV confirmed that Syrian forces have left the area.
In related news, Russia has confirmed that members of its armed forces are present in Syria. A Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday that “Russian military experts” are in Syria to help its military become skilled in the use of Russian weaponry and other equipment.
A U.S. State Department official said Wednesday that Secretary of State Kerry spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Mr. Kerry reportedly expressed concern over the reports of Russian military involvement in Syria. He said that, if they were true, it could “leader to greater violence” in the country.
Iran: No talks with US outside nuclear deal
Iran's top leader says any future talks with the United States will only involve issues related to the nuclear deal reached with world powers, not other areas.
Ayatollah Ali Khameini said, "We approved talks with the United States about nuclear issues specifically. In other areas, we did not and will not allow negotiations with the U.S." The comments appeared in a statement on his website Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran was ready to hold talks with the U.S. on ways to settle Syria’s civil war. Ayatollah Khamanei’s comments are seen as a possible reaction to the president’s statement.
China cancels Bon Jovi performances over Dalai Lama statements
China has cancelled Bon Jovi's first ever planned concerts in China. Some reports say the shows were cancelled because of what Chinese officials consider the American group's past expressions of support for the Dalai Lama.
Bon Jovi was set to perform next week in both Beijing and Shanghai.
The Financial Times reported Tuesday the cancelation came after the Communist Party's Culture Ministry found that Bon Jovi included a video of the Dalai Lama at a show in Taiwan in 2010. The BBC also said that Chinese government officials canceled the performances.
The Chinese government considers the Tibetan spiritual leader a dangerous separatist.
US Apple product launch
The American company Apple on Wednesday demonstrated its largest-ever tablet computer, the iPad Pro. The product is equipped with a new "smart" keyboard and an Apple "Pencil" stylus device.
Chief Executive Tim Cook showed off the new iPad at the company's media event in San Francisco. He called the product "the biggest news in iPad since the iPad."
The new iPad Pro will become available for purchase in November. The starting price is $799.
VOANews.com provided all the information for this newscast. George Grow adapted the newscast for Learning English.
Words in This Story
manage – v. to have control or take care of
concerts – n. a public performance of music
tablet – n. a flat object that is used for writing
keyboard – n. the set of keys that are used for a computer